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Sustainability mandate intensifies for US brands: Consumers are severing relationships with those that aren’t prioritizing eco-practices

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Public Relations

Brands and businesses that assume sustainability is just a “best case scenario” for consumers, but not a significant factor in purchasing, are not paying enough attention—consumers have been clear about the importance of green practices for the brands they choose to purchase from, and new research from product value management platform Propel Software affirms this, finding that more than half (55 percent) of Americans surveyed would “break up” with a brand if they discovered it wasn’t eco-friendly.

The survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted by OnePoll, found that 68 percent of adult males and 55 percent of adult females say eco-friendly products or causes are important when they make purchasing decisions. It also found that 44 percent feel more emotionally invested in companies that follow/demonstrate sustainable business practices.

sustainability mandate

The research also reveals that Americans will spend 33 percent more on green products in 2024 than in 2023. Consumers plan to spend an average of $12,000 on eco-friendly products this year, up from the reported $9,000 in the past year on sustainable products including electric cars, household cleaners, small and large electronics, and appliances.

In terms of where consumers look to find eco-friendly claim information, the survey found 47 percent of consumers look at product packaging, 35 percent are searching on brands’ websites, and 21 percent rely on advertisements.

“Transparency is important to consumers, and brands should take note if they want customers to continue to be brand loyal. The majority of respondents (65 percent) say they will look for environmental claims when making a purchase,” said Ross Meyercord, CEO of Propel Software, in a news release. “Today’s consumers are savvy and not easily tricked, as 42 percent said they can tell when a company is trying to ‘greenwash’ what they do.”

sustainability mandate

In fact, 45 percent of U.S. consumers reported if they discovered a favorite brand was “greenwashing” products, i.e., making misleading claims about a company’s eco-friendly status, they would likely purchase from an eco-friendly competitor instead.

When looking at sustainability through a political lens, 73 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans said it was important to buy eco-friendly products or support eco-friendly causes.

“Data shows consumers, regardless of political affiliation, are putting their hard-earned money towards brands and products that elevate environmental causes,” said Meyercord. “And, those brands that accurately communicate their environmental practices to consumers are being rewarded with loyal customers that are spending more with them. Green companies partnering with green consumers makes for a happy, healthy planet.”

sustainability mandate

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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